On the day of a wedding, I usually set off at around 9am with the following items loaded into my car:
• Umbrellas (hopefully not required!)
• Locking post box for cards to be collected
• Large emergency kit bag
• Small emergency kit bag
• M&S sandwich order form
My first stop is at M&S to collect the pre-ordered sandwiches for the bride and bridal party – it’s a long time between breakfast and sitting down for the wedding breakfast at around 5pm.
At around 10am, I arrive with the bridal party where I am available to iron the wedding dress, bridesmaids’ dresses, make cups of tea for mum, dad, bride, hairdresser, make-up lady and anyone else who is there.
I can do any sewing that needs doing and anything else that anyone needs me to do.
Before I leave, I lace the bride into her dress or do up all the tiny buttons and leave the white bridal umbrellas for the bridal party if necessary.
I then set off for the ceremony venue. Once there, I ensure everything is set up and light any candles, put tissues in place for the mums and put ‘reserved’ signs on the seats for the family, bridesmaids, speakers and witnesses.
When the groom and his groomsmen arrive, they invariably have their cravats on untied, even if I have emailed them a picture guide of how to tie them! I ensure they all have their ties or cravats tied in the same way and pin on their buttonholes for them.
If it’s raining, I escort the ladies into the ceremony under my large golf umbrellas, then wait for the bridal party to do the same for them.
When the ceremony has finished, I take the flower displays from the ceremony venue to the reception venue (if this is what has been agreed).
Once I am at the reception venue, I ensure the welcome drinks are ready for the arrival of the guests and the bride & groom. If there is a Toastmaster, he will be there and will have already done that.
If there is a Toastmaster, I leave them to help the photographer get the guests organised for photos while I check the place cards, favours, flowers etc are all in the right place. I get drinks for the string quartet and photographer and make sure the bride and groom get a drink and also make up a plate of canapés for the bride and groom otherwise they will miss out.
This is the only part of the day where the Toastmaster and On the Day Co-Ordinator would actually perform the same role. If there is a Toastmaster, they will make any announcements that need making which means I might actually get a bit of a break!
While the wedding breakfast is taking place, the Toastmaster will eat at a separate table in the same room as the guests. I will be ensuring that the evening entertainment has arrived and is ready to set up. I will also be taking wedding gifts up to the bridal suite so that there is no danger of them going missing.
Once the wedding breakfast is over, I will assist in the turn-around of the room for the evening, change and relight any candles which are getting low, and sprinkle table confetti to cover any stains on the table-cloths!
It is quite likely that the Toastmaster will have left by now, so I will announce the bride and groom’s first dance and then the opening of the evening buffet.
Before I leave at around 9.30pm, I ensure that all the gifts and cards are safely locked away in the bride and groom’s room, the top tier of the cake is kept safely if required and that all the suppliers have been paid.
A Toastmaster charges around the same as an On The Day Co-Ordinator (I charge from £375) – which would you rather have?